A Coaching Power Tool Created by Lacie Bohanon
(Life Coach, UNITED STATES)
Life happens, good things bad things and it is all about perspective. Everyone has a view and or opinion, so why should it not be one of positivity and empowerment? Too often people allow themselves to fall into the victim mentality and they struggle to move out of it. When someone is in the victim mentality struggle they are unable to live their best life and can not move forward. Too often when a person is in the victim role they see life as happening to them and lose their power to be aware of how much control they have over their own life. This can be a very heavy and disempowering place for a client to be and they will need a skilled coach to help move them out of this place.
Victim mentality is defined as “an acquired personality trait in which a person tends to recognize or consider themselves as a victim of the negative actions of others, and to behave as if this were the case in the face of contrary evidence of such circumstances” (Wikipedia, 2021).
The “Victim” to “Victor” power tool allows a structure for a coach to use to help those who find themselves stuck in the victim role to move to the more empowering role of a victor. A coach can do this with the power tool of Victim to Victor and by helping the client to focus on gratitude and focus on living their best life. This act is also combined with forgiving themselves as well as others they feel were involved with the situation.
As a victim, you are focused on all the bad things that the world does to you. You perceive that you have little or no power as life just does with you what it will. As a Victor, you are empowered to see yourself in control of your own life. With this sense of control and empowerment, you choose how you see the world around you and you create the life you want by positive energy, perspective, and forward-moving actions.
Mark Samuel stated in his book Making Yourself Indispensable: The Power of Personal Accountability “Changing times require you to continually question your processes, procedures, mindset, and attitudes. The only constant in times of change might be your purpose and principles; everything else needs to evolve based on the changing world around you” (Samuel, 62). This helps illustrate how important it is for a person to examine what they are choosing to put their energy into. With the Victim to Victor power tool, a coach can assist a client through the exploration process, the action planning, and the forward movement needed to assist a client into living their best life.
You have to understand who you are and what you want out of life to move forward into the life that is waiting for you. If you are constantly focusing on what you perceive as happening to you in the past you can not move forward and create the life you want and envision.
Too often people focus on events that they perceive as negative but by shifting the perspective that they have to one of positivity a new future can be formed before their eyes. With this positive perspective, they can create a future where they are victorious in life.
Shifting perspectives is only one part of the power tool. The individual must be open, willing, and able to forgive themselves as well as anyone else that they feel is involved in the situation that led to them placing themselves into the victim role. Forgiveness is essential to a client moving into a victor role. “Forgiving allows you to let go of the emotional baggage that is weighing you down. Just by saying, “I forgive you” to someone, you instantly feel freer. All of that negative energy that you have been carrying around can be released, allowing you to feel happiness again” (Staff, 2014). By freeing oneself up from the negative energy of blame, one can feel the positive energy of possibility.
With the Victim to Victor power tool, you are looking at how the client describes the circumstances that bring them to coaching. You will pay special attention to keywords that place blame on others, lack of ownership by the client, or a sense of hopelessness. You will also pay attention to energy shifts that are present within the client when they are describing the situation they are wanting to explore a resolution to.
Some examples of statements a client may make when they are in the victim role are:
“They did this”
A client in the victim role will see others’ actions as something that is done to them and that they have no control over. They have little or no ownership of what is happening around them.
“Happens to me”
A client in the victim role allows things to happen to them. This gives all the power to the outside world. This can produce negative energy that holds the client back from living the life that they desire. This can stop them in the process of moving forward because they can not see that they allow many things to happen to them.
“Lifes not fair”
When a client is focused on life not being fair they are not focusing on what they can do to empower themselves. This can lead them to allow emotions of despair. Also by focusing on their perception of life not being fair they are bringing negative emotions into their world that can weigh them down.
Clients always have a choice. It can be on how they perceive what happens to them, what they will do next, how they can change events, how they will react, etc. When a client says they have no choice, they choose to have no choice instead of focusing their energy on what they can control. They are acting as a bystander in their own life and allowing the world to do what it wants with them.
When speaking with a client who is stuck in the victim role the coach must pay special attention to the energy the client is bringing into the session. Those stuck in a victim role can bring heavy energy into the session that weighs them down. The coach can see this in the way the client describes events, the inflections within the client’s voice, the sighs a client expresses, or the far-off looks the client gives when thinking through the situation.
Moving to the Victor:
When a client is giving up control of their life to the outside world it is important to challenge the client to see that they do have control. Below are questions to help with the process.
What if you did have a choice?
This can help the client move beyond their current constraints. This can help them stop just long enough to visualize and ask themselves what if.
What choice would you dare to make?
This question will help invoke deep thoughts by the client on what they really want. They can feel uncomfortable with this question, but it is up to the coach to let them have time to process the question and think through it. The coach must support the client with the choice that the client dares to make.
What would a fair life look like?
This can give the client what they envision and want for their own life. It can help shift their perspective from one of unfairness to one of fairness.
What are you allowing to happen to you?
This question is a powerful one that can help the client recognize that within themselves they are choosing for these things to happen to them.
How will you change your life?
This is the question that will help the client to move forward to the life they want. This is the first step in the client putting into action their action plan to move to a victor.
By asking these challenging questions and providing the client’s space to explore, the client can begin to realize they have complete control of their life. This is only done by allowing the client to recognize the courage, strength, and power that they hold within. The coach will pay special attention to what is not said within this process. When the energy shifts it is up to the coach to ask the client what they are feeling at that moment, because the client may be unaware of their own feelings. It is important to recognize the process that the client makes as they battle through the thoughts that have been holding them back to reach their best life as a Victor.
Visualizing the future:
When the client is ready to move forward into seeing their future it is the role of the coach to assist them.
- What does the life you want to live look like?
- What if you happened to live?
- What if you dared to make the choices you wanted to?
- What if you see this as your comeback story?
- What happens next?
After your client visualizes the future they want, then hold space for the emotions that can come with this. This can be an emotional journey for clients and the coach should recognize them for the journey. By visualizing yourself achieving your goal and doing what you want to do, it’s like training the brain to actually really do it, which will most likely lead you to achieve your desired result” (Dris, 2017). Visualization is a powerful tool that assists the client in seeing what they want, putting together an action plan on how to get there, believing that they can do it, and accomplishing their goal. It helps to bring the power back to the client and provide them with the confidence to become a victor.
Life happens to everyone but it is up to the person on how they will perceive this. The application of the victim to victor tool can be used in every aspect of life if the client is willing to explore and challenge their own perspective. In the power of Personal Accountability, the illustration is given by intention you have a choice to recognize the situation or ignore it. This takes a client into the accountability loop or the victim loop (Samuel, 52). By recognizing that the loop that they get on all starts with their choice it brings the power back to them. Through recognition, acceptance, visualization, and hard work, a client can be coached along their journey from Victim to Victor with a coach’s powerful toolset. A coach must also be aware that clients can fall back into the victim role at any time within their life. The coach can begin the process again by asking the same powerful question to move the client back into the victor role. The desire for this power tool is that it becomes easier for both the coach as well as the client to move the client into the victor role each time. Life and coaching are both journeys that the client will find themselves on. As they travel both of these journeys they must allow themselves grace as they find themselves back in the victim role. When the client finds themself back in the victim role what is important is that it is recognized, acted upon and that the client chooses to move forward. Throughout the whole process do not forget to celebrate the little wins and put in place milestones of celebration. The journey is important but the celebration is important to keep the journey going. With the tools, the observations of energy, visualization techniques, grace, and celebration the coach will have everything that they need to assist the client from moving from the victim role to the victor role of their own life.
Dris, C. (2017, June 24). 4 Simple Steps to Make Visualisation Work for You.
Samuel, Mark. (2012). Making yourself indispensable: The Power of Personal Accountability. Penguin Group.
Staff Writer, (2014). 6 Reasons Forgiveness Is So Powerful
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Victim Mentality.